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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Carry a Big Stick!

This Friday is our elementary school's Dr. Seuss Birthday Celebration.  Each year the students "travel" around to different rooms in the school and learn about different states or countries.  This year I volunteered to teach the students about Mexico. (Actually my husband is going to be teaching it for me, but that's for another post!)  Right now the plan is to make guacamole and fresh salsa for the students to try.  I'm also working on an adobe house made from lots of cardboard boxes.  For an extra-fun activity, each group of students is going to have a pinata.  They will be able to take turns hitting it until it bursts open. It has been fun studying and preparing the lesson for the students, but today I learned something very interesting about the pinata.

The origin of the pinata is actually believed to have come from China and then passed into other countries.  There are many speculations as to the meaning of the pinata, but most all of them point to religious practices and customs.  I found that to be very interesting.  It's something I never would have thought about until I found it studying today. One tradition has the following explanation for the pinata and the way it is hit by someone whose eyes are covered:  "You go around life with your eyes covered, trying to find the good things and working hard to get them." Another tradition says that the piñata symbolizes the devil:  "You have to hit him hard to make him let go of all of the good things that he has stolen."

Here's a song that is sometimes sung while the pinata is being hit:

Spanish Version:
Dale, dale, dale,
No perdas el tino
Porque so lo perdes
pierdes el camino.

English Version:
Hit it, hit it, hit it,
Don't loose your aim.
'cause if you lose it
you'll loose your way!

Isn't the whole pinata thing interesting? I especially liked the idea of thinking of the pinata as the devil and hitting him hard! Beating him with a stick! The Bible says, "Resist the devil and he will flee from you," James 4:7. Imagine if we hit him over and over with a BIG STICK? He'd be sure to turn around and run if he knew we're gonna come out fightin' wouldn't he??

In America, pinatas are used for fun - many times for birthday party celebrations.  The connection to religion isn't something (that I know of, anyway) that we in America recognize at all.  But, the idea of the devil trying to "steal from us" is very real.  The devil is active and ready to devour Christians.  Let's carry a BIG STICK and get him!


Wa Wa Waughs said...

Never heard of the pinata song before! Love your application!

オテモヤン said...
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